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Asheville Cinema Festival announces details

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9/13/2012 - Asheville Cinema Festival announces details
by Tony Kiss - Asheville Citizen Times

Organizers of the Asheville Cinema Festival are promising some new twists for the event, which returns Nov. 1-4.

Classic movie characters from Charlie Chaplin to Dude from "The Big Lebowski" will walk the streets promoting the festival, executive director Wyman Tannehill said.

A film competition only for local filmmakers and students will be held. And local artist Christopher Holt will create awards to be presented to festival winners, Tannehill said. "They will always be unique and one of a kind," he said.

The opening night film will be shown at the Regal Biltmore Grande 15 as will "Best of the Festival" selections on closing day. Other screenings and workshops will be held at the downtown Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., and in the theater at the historic Masonic Temple on Broadway Street.

"The Masonic lodge has renovated that building and it's a wonderful place to watch films," he said. Tannehill said it was important to have a strong downtown presence so that festival goers could also shop and dine before or after a screening.

About the entries

The festival began accepting entries in January, and Tannehill said he's now sorting through 300-400 films to narrow down the field to 30-40 including features, shorts, student films and documentaries.

"Some festivals shoot for showing 50 films, but that is not our goal," he said.

Tannehill hopes to announce a complete lineup and and put tickets on sale by October.

The festival was founded by filmmakers Tom and Sandi Anton. It replaced the defunct Asheville Film Festival, as a local showcase for cinema.

The festival, and its sibling event the Asheville Cinema Society screenings, have quickly established some strong ties within the film making industry. Last year's debut festival included the first local screening of the silent feature "The Artist," which went on to win Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.

The Cinema Society has also landed some high profile features. It had the first Asheville presentations of "Robot and Frank" and "The Intouchables," which both continue to screen at local theaters.

"We are on a roll right now," Tannehill said. "We have made some solid connections within the industry and that is why we are getting these advance screenings."

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